Clemson RB Travis Etienne To Return For Senior Season

After losing top wide receiver Tee Higgins, Clemson can continue to build around its Trevor LawrenceTravis Etienne backfield. A junior running back, Etienne made the unexpected decision to stay in school, announcing the decision Friday (Twitter link).

Running backs typically declare early to avoid another year’s worth of college carries, but Clemson’s starter will take a different route to the NFL. Etienne has stacked multiple 1,600-yard rushing seasons together and could well end up as a 2021 first-round pick like Lawrence.

Etienne finished as a top-10 Heisman vote-getter in each of the past two seasons, which featured a combined 49 touchdowns and 3,782 scrimmage yards. Scouts Inc. slotted Etienne as a second-round talent this year, ranking the production dynamo as this class’ would-be No. 5 running back.

Georgia’s D’Andre Swift, Wisconsin’s Jonathan Taylor, Florida State’s Cam Akers and Ohio State’s J.K. Dobbins rate as other top backs in this class. All had years of eligibility remaining, but each entered the draft early. But Lawrence’s Clemson running mate will instead focus on helping the Tigers to another national championship game, after having started in the past two, and becoming a 2021 first-rounder.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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6 comments on “Clemson RB Travis Etienne To Return For Senior Season

  1. Etienne is betting a lot of money on an injury free season. It’s admirable but perhaps a bit short-sighted.

    If the NFL wanted seniors to finish their college degrees, they’d allow juniors to be drafted, sign contracts and return to college. There could be some kind of cap compensation for seniors who are injured but have to be paid out.

    Everyone wins: the universities, the players, even the NFL.

    • DarkSide830

      im sure they have a program where drafted players can return and complete their degrees when they finish in the NFL.

    • LordBanana

      You can already finish your degree and also be in the NFL. You don’t lose all your college credits when you’re drafted

  2. ruckus727

    Shocking. I thought he would sneak into the first round. I like him more than most that I am not a Clemson fan. But I love the way he runs. I actually think he was the second best back in this class after Swift.

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